By getting misunderstood, ignored or insulted and not responding to it, you burn away negative karma and acquire good karma—it’s like money in the bank.
The Teachings of the Immortal, Lord Lakulisha,
Twenty-Eighth Incarnation of Lord Shiva.
The context of these sutras is an Eastern culture two-thousand years ago, and the yoga sadhana of Pashupati, the purpose of which is liberation.
III:10 On account of that,
Because this happens …
This sutra is referring to the previous sutras, sutras 1-9, where we were made aware of a certain Principle we could utilize to neutralize our negative karma.
III:11 One goes about like a ghost.
“Like a ghost”, or “like a dead person”.
You are seen as a poor, crazy or lowly person.
We could take this literally, or we could interpret it as being dead, or invisible to a society that would deny one’s existence in general. In the culture in which these sutras were given, sadhus smear the body with ashes, wander in public unkempt with long nails and hair, dissociated from the social norm, in order to fulfill this practice.
People think you are a slothful, indolent and good-for-nothing person.
Now we begin to see a list of observances, or practices. (Notice the “or” in these sutras.) We can either look at them as willful practices, techniques that are applied when going about in the village, or we can see them as opportunities that may arise where we can apply the Principle. The difference is in one’s orientation. For example…
Your orientation is surrender: You unintentionally fall asleep in a public place, or slip into a meditative state while riding the bus, and others, believing you are sleeping, make fun of you.
Your orientation is technique: You go into the village and pretend to fall asleep. You fake loud snoring and even behave strangely as if having a bad dream. Believing you are sleeping, people insult you and make fun of you.
These practices do not replace one’s sadhana, but are supplementary to it.
III:13 Or trembling,
“Trembling observance”. Shaking, quaking, twitching, shivering, spastic.
People think you are crazy.
III:14 Or limping,
“Limping observance”. Lame, crippled.
People think you are disabled.
III:15 Or wooing.
“Amorous observance”. Flirting, acting attracted to the opposite sex, exhibiting loss of self-control.
People think you are a pleasure-seeker, lecherous and indecent.
III:16 Acting like that
III:17 [And] speaking like that
III:18 Causes you to get a period of being insulted, humiliated, held in contempt, disgraced or disregarded.
Traditionally, a person with any of these defects would not be initiated. Seeing you acting in these ways, because people would assume that you do not have the karma to qualify, you would be deemed unworthy of their respect and treated accordingly.
III:19 Because of being disregarded or insulted, over time you become skilled in tapas.
Tapas refers to the burning away of impurities, in this case, the burning away of one’s negative karma. Ridding oneself of negative karma and acquiring good karma is useful in that it is money in the bank, so to speak. It allows for you to be able to acquire the best conditions for completing sadhana and reaching the aim of moksha, liberation. Also, in Pashupat Shaivism, Divine Body, immortality, is recognized as an effect of success.
° ° °
These sutras have been interpreted as willful practices for several centuries. Most of you who know me already know that I do not take them this way, but simply as things that present themselves in life that can be turned to advantage. I have told my shaktipat initiates that, when they are not in the meditation room, they will be using their will anyway so they may as well use it for supplementary practices, such as asana, etc., that are supportive to their sadhana. It is in this spirit that the practices mentioned in these sutras are meant.
According to Kaundinya, these teachings, which are based on the law of cause and effect, are deliberate techniques for the purpose of attracting insult—you get the good karma of others who insult or abuse you, which in turn gives them your bad karma. If this is true, if it really works this way, we should note a lesson here: It works both ways—when you hurt, insult, abuse or humiliate someone, you are giving them your good karma and getting their bad karma. Something to think about, isn’t it?
Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to God!),
P.S. If you find all this a bit hard to swallow, reading the previous sutras should clear things up.